The president of the United School Employees of Pasco and the Pasco County School Board paused on Sept. 11, to remember the victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, and the heroes who responded.
Don Peace, the union president, said: “I’m at a school board meeting on this, the 22nd anniversary of 9/11 of 2001.
“On that tragic day — Sept. 11, 2001 — we were notified mid-morning, at Gulf Middle School, of a tragedy unfolding across the northeast and at the Pentagon.
“We gathered in a locker room and watched the TV, in disbelief, as buildings crumbled and people were lost in the rubble.
“Even more alarming was the host of people jumping out of burning buildings, in an attempt to escape the horrendous fires.
“First responders — and I use that term collectively, “ Peace said, “as not all that ran to help those in turmoil were police, fire or health workers, but also average citizens, who saw a need and acted, without thought of personal safety.
“Heroes came in all shapes, sizes and walks of life.
“Lives were changed, many saved, because of the actions of those brave souls on that day.
“We are forever in debt to those who unselfishly thought of others first, putting themselves in peril to make a difference in other people’s lives. Our thoughts and prayers go out to them and their families today, in remembrance of their service,” Peace said.
School board member Colleen Beaudoin shared her reflections on the tragedy of that day, too.
“It’s been 22 years since the horrific attack on our country. We will always remember the lives lost and the families whose loved ones never came home.
“The pain of losing loved ones continues forever.
“There are many heroes who made sacrifices that day. May we always remember and honor them — the Armed Forces, first responders and countless others whose act of service to save our people and defend our nation’s freedom, exemplified the strength of the American people.”
School board chairman Megan Harding paid tribute to the anniversary by requesting her colleagues and the public to devote a moment of silence “for those who have lost their lives and those who have lost loved ones, 22 years ago.”
Published September 20, 2023